GMKtec NucBox K9 review: This mini PC’s power is increased with the newest Intel CPU.

GMKtec NucBox K9 review: This mini PC’s power is increased with the newest Intel CPU.

Customers looking for a desktop computer’s power in a small, portable package are the target market for the GMKtec K9 mini PC. Its processing and graphics capabilities are excellent despite its small size.

This is one of the best little PCs available, perfect for creative work like photo and video editing, heavy office software, gaming, and video editing. Because it can extend RAM and internal storage far more than most competitors, it is a flexible option for a range of demanding applications.

The K9’s expandability is one of its best qualities. With its two LAN ports and one USB4 port, it can be supercharged with an external GPU or used to hold more large-format data. But the almost identical GMKtec K8, which has an AMD Ryzen 7 8845HS processor (8 cores, 16 threads) and Radeon 780M, competes with it. The K9 is the Intel equivalent; it has a design similar to the K8’s but is equipped with Intel Arc Graphics and an Intel Core Ultra 5 125H CPU.

A hint of cheapness may be felt in the silver-coated plastic finish of the K9’s build, but the button details and massive cooling grates give it a premium feel. Similar to the K8, the internal configuration offers dual M.2 slots and dual-channel RAM for simple upgrades. Power users can upgrade to 4TB of internal SSD and 96GB of RAM from the standard configuration’s 1TB of storage and 32GB of RAM.

It takes some force and strain to pry off the top plate and remove the fan plate to access the interior components for modifications. Once inside, users can quickly upgrade performance by adding or removing hardware components.

The K9’s performance in regular use is remarkable because of the Intel Ultra 5 125H processor. Office apps function flawlessly, and the system’s powerful features assist artistic tools like Photoshop and Da Vinci Resolve. However, the K9 has some minor gaming issues, just like the majority of Mini PCs. Even at lower settings, it is not as powerful as specialized desktop PCs in terms of graphics.

The decision between the K9 and the K8 comes down to personal preference between AMD and Intel. The K9 excels in processing speed, although the K8’s graphics performance is marginally superior. Given their great strength and capability, either machine would be a wise decision based on individual requirements and brand loyalty. In conclusion, the GMKtec K9 is a potent, expandable, and adaptable little computer that can withstand a variety of challenging situations, making it a formidable competitor in the small computer market.

SPECS

ItemSpec
CPU:Intel Core Ultra 5 125H (14 cores, 18 threads)
GPU:Intel ARC Graphics 112EU iGPU
RAM:32GB Dual DDR5 5600MHz (expandable up to 96GB)
Storage:1TB M.2 2280 PCIe Gen 4
Expansion:1x M.2 2280 PCIe Gen 4
Front Ports:USB4, two USB 3.2 Gen 2, 3.5 mm combo audio jack
Rear Ports:Two USB 3.2 Gen 2, HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort 1.4, two 2.5G Ethernet ports
Networking:2x 2.5GbE LAN, WiFi 6, Bluetooth 5.2
OS:Windows 11 Pro (pre-installed)
Dimensions:123 x 111 x 43 (mm)

DESIGN

The K9’s fashionable looks are indisputable; they are the same as those of the K8. But it has the same design flaws that the K8 review pointed out. Although the design is attractive, a machine at this price point should have a higher-quality metal case rather than the metallic-finished plastic that is used. Even so, the overall appearance and feel are nice, even if it is marginally less expensive than some rival models. The move from an AMD to an Intel chipset is the main distinction between the two computers.

It is not too difficult to access the internal hardware. The top plate may be paid off to reveal the little cooling fan without the need for any tools. Four tiny screws hold the fan plate itself in place. This plate requires a little amount of force to take away, and before proper access to the interior components can be gained, the mainboard connector to the fan must be disconnected.

There are two enormous grilled vents on either side of the arrangement, which allows for lots of airflow through the system. The interior is roomy and tidy. The SODIMM DDR5 memory slots and two PCIe 4.0 M.2 slots are located on one side of the Mini PC. The review sample included two 16GB Crucial DDR5 5600 modules, for a total of 32GB, which can be upgraded to 96GB, making it one of the greatest capacities available in a Mini PC. The Dual M.2 slots, which are located opposite the RAM slots, are occupied by a 1TB M.2 2280 PCIe 4.0 SSD that can be expanded to accommodate two 2TB modules. The WiFi 6 (2.4GHz/5.0GHz) and Bluetooth 5.2 card, which provide upgrade possibilities for future compatibility, are located beneath the RAM.

HARDWARE

The GMKtec K9 Mini PC is intended for power users looking for a small form factor computer that can grow in the future via internal and external hardware connections. Its central processing unit is one of the newest Intel Core Ultra 5 125H processors, which has 14 cores and 18 threads with a maximum frequency of 4.50 GHz.

The Intel Arc Graphics 112EU GPU, which is based on the Meteor Lake GT1 graphics processor and supports DirectX 12, is manufactured on a 10 nm process and goes hand in hand with the CPU. Users can run demanding programs such as picture and video editing with this combination. Intel’s AI Boost technology, which employs both the CPU and GPU depending on the workload, further improves the capabilities of the CPU and GPU. This technology works with Windows ML, ONNX RT, DirectML, and OpenVINO.

Power users will find the K9 to have 32GB of DDR5 dual-channel RAM operating at 5600MHz; this memory can be expanded to 96GB by utilizing the recently announced 48GB RAM modules. With dual slot expansion enabling a maximum of 4TB internal storage, the 1TB M.2 2280 PCIe 4.0 SSD that comes with the device provides plenty of capacity.

Strong connectivity is present. A Thunderbolt 4-compliant USB4 port on the front allows for a maximum transfer speed of 40 Gbps. It is still working despite the slightly strange location on the front. There are two additional USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports on the front and two more on the back in addition to the USB4 port.

There are many networking choices available, including WiFi 6, Bluetooth 5.2, and two 2.5Gbps LAN connections. With the USB4 port supporting up to 8K@60Hz and options for DisplayPort and HDMI, the capacity to connect up to three screens is an excellent feature. Once more, there is something a little odd about the USB4 port being on the front instead of the back.

CONCLUSION

The GMKtec K9 Mini PC is an excellent device with lots of room for growth. If you are searching for a desktop computer that is both powerful and small, this one provides a flexible choice. The K9’s remarkable processing power, wide range of expansion options, and useful design make it the perfect choice for a variety of jobs, from office work to creative endeavors.

Even though this machine is strong, not everyone will be satisfied with its gaming performance and cheap construction. Even if the plastic construction does not feel particularly high-end, it is nonetheless sturdy.

There are a lot of advantages for the K9. Its strength and upgradeability, which are superior to those of most of the rivals, rank highest on the list. It is a superb system all around, so choosing between it and the AMD K8 version is difficult.

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